Insurers allow more time to pay under health law
WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers anxious over tight insurance deadlines and lingering computer problems during the holidays will get extra time to pay their premiums under President Barack Obama's health care law, insurers announced Wednesday.
Bipartisan budget agreement nears final passage
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate lined up Wednesday to give final congressional approval to legislation scaling back across-the-board cuts on programs ranging from the Pentagon to the national park system, adding a late dusting of bipartisanship to a year more likely to be remembered for a partial government shutdown and near-perpetual gridlock.
Task force urges limit on NSA snooping
WASHINGTON (AP) — A presidential advisory panel has recommended sweeping limits on the government's surveillance programs, including requiring a court to sign off on individual searches of phone records and stripping the National Security Agency of its ability to store that data from Americans.
US lawmaker wants openness on Pacific trade pact
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration needs to be more open with Congress to win support for a trans-Pacific trade pact under negotiation with 11 countries, an influential Democratic senator said Wednesday.
Urban schools improving faster than rest of US
WASHINGTON (AP) — Public school students in the nation's largest cities are improving their performance in reading and math faster than their counterparts in suburban and rural schools, according to federal data released Wednesday. The biggest gains by far were in the nation's capital.
Defense bill gives Obama rare Guantanamo victory
WASHINGTON (AP) — Many detainees at Guantanamo Bay may be closer to heading home under a bipartisan deal reached in Congress that gives President Barack Obama a rare victory in his fight to close the prison for terror suspects.
Budget deal cuts oil and gas royalties to states
WASHINGTON (AP) — The budget deal in Congress will cost Wyoming, New Mexico and other states $415 million in lost oil and gas royalties over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Businesses again challenge union poster rules
WASHINGTON (AP) — A prominent business group filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging government rules that require federal contractors to display posters telling workers they have a legal right to form a union.
AP-GfK poll: Obama int'l ratings top domestic ones
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's approval ratings for handling foreign policy issues generally top his ratings for most domestic issues, including the economy and health care, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. But the poll also suggests a majority of Americans want the president to pull troops out of Afghanistan faster than he's doing, and many are skeptical about a tentative nuclear deal with Iran.